From Page to Stage – a Platform for New Edinburgh Writers

When Michelle McKay returned to Edinburgh she found there were few opportunities to connect with other creatives and started Page2Stage as a solution. The idea was to provide a platform for new work and bring people together. As the arts seek to recover after the pandemic she’s relaunching the initiative during Army@TheFringe.

This year’s Army@TheFringe is overjoyed to be returning to live performance and as part of the programme DJ Mark McKenzie will host two live variety evenings.

Michelle McKay

Live @ The Drill Hall will showcase the immense talent that Edinburgh has to offer. As Army@TheFringe associate producer I wanted to provide opportunities to local artists after a difficult year – people who are sometimes overlooked during the festival.

It also seemed like the perfect opportunity to revive Page2Stage Edinburgh, a new writing scratch night which is open to emerging and early career creatives.

So we are providing two slots for brand new writing and I’m delighted to announce that these will be from local writers Izzy Gray and Charlotte Laidig.

I started Page2Stage in 2018 after moving back to Scotland the previous year. I had been looking to connect with other creatives in Edinburgh to create work but found it quite lonely and was surprised that there were few opportunities. While living in London I was used to an abundance of fringe and pub theatres – something that’s lacking here in Edinburgh.

After talking to the team at Assembly Roxy they supported my vision and provided the space for me to start Page2Stage. I wanted to build a community of artists in Edinburgh to support each other and ultimately create work together which has been welcomed with open arms.

The format we developed involved selecting four pieces and pairing each one with a director and actors from a call out. Each team receives a two-hour rehearsal in the venue with the performance that evening. Each piece is performed as a rehearsed reading in front of a live audience and industry panel who provides dramaturgical feedback. Afterwards we have a networking event in the snug bar which has been as important as the event itself.

The Army@TheFringe will act as a foretaste of the full return (which will be on 21 September at Assembly Roxy) and will hopefully be a great way to raise awareness of Izzy and Charlotte’s by giving them a platform at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Live @ The Drill Hall is on 6 and 7 August and will also feature comedy, music, song and cabaret – you can see it in-person or as a live stream.